When you think about the first year of your child’s life, you may not immediately think of their dental care. They don’t have teeth yet, why should I be concerned? Although it may be surprising, dental care is crucial during the first year of a child’s life.
Baby teeth are vulnerable to decay from their very first appearance. For most babies, the first tooth will erupt between the ages of six months to a year. Proper care for your baby’s teeth is imperative throughout their growth and development. Teeth serve several critical functions, including speech. Your child’s baby teeth help the proper development of permanent teeth by holding space for them.
Decay in the baby teeth affects your child’s health and behavior. The pain your baby can experience with decay can cause a loss of appetite or difficulty eating correctly. If tooth decay goes untreated, it can lead to an infection and fever, potentially causing loss of teeth and expensive restoration.
First Tooth, First Visit
Along with the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), Jenkins Dentistry for Kids recommends that pediatric dental patients are seen at either the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday – whichever happens first.
Your child’s first visit to the dentist begins a trusting relationship with their dentist and establishes lifelong preventative dental care and habits. A scientific paper in Pediatric Dentistry revealed that children who wait to have their first dental appointment until the age of two or three are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits to the dentist.
At-Home Dental Care for Your Baby
Children need proper oral care, even before their first tooth appears, in order to best foster tooth development and growth. As a parent, you can be proactive in your baby’s dental health by cleaning your infant’s gums regularly with either an infant toothbrush or a cloth with warm water.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits for Your Child
Remember, when you are caring for your child’s teeth, you are not alone! Our team is proud to provide your family with compassionate dental care and a robust education program. We will equip your family with everything you need to start a lifetime of healthy oral habits.
Maintain a healthy smile by scheduling your child’s first appointment, no later than their first birthday, and by continuing with regular cleanings and dental checkups every six months.
Schedule your appointment today, we look forward to meeting your family!